Conference manager's note

Mugdha works with IBM as an information architect. She is passionate about minimalism, content strategy, interaction design, and user experience. Mugdha enjoyed being STC India's Pune city-rep for 2014 and 2015. She loves to play with kids and wants to write children's stories a few years from now.

Mugdha Kulkarni

Its success will be in the thousands of little flames the conference will ignite in technical communicators. Tweet!

I always wonder — what's the essence of being a human. The essence of being alive. The essence of being me. What is that one thing that I must do? For I was probably born to do that. What is it that will make me look back in my dusk years, and make me smile? That one thing that makes me, me.

I am sure many of us go through this existential crisis from time to time.

When we started preparing for this conference, we found ourselves discussing on varied topics. It obviously started with technical communication — what's in, what's out, what's transforming, and what's changing us as writers. What are the eternal guiding principles for technical communicators? As it happens with any debate and discussion, it all soon became quite philosophical. The initial complaints and frustrations about poor talent, limited scope, and bad managers were fast replaced with our own dreams and aspirations. What are the things that we can do, and want to do? And soon we realised, we can do whatever it is that we want to do. Each one of us. The time is right.

Yes, the time is right. It's perfect. For, the Indian fraternity in IT and in technical communication, is finding its voice. The technology is making things even better. All we have to do is ride the wave, and enjoy doing what we do.

This newly found spirit kindled some new flames in us. It became our torch, our guiding star, and stayed with us till the end. It will stay with us even beyond the conference. All the success of this conference lies in the existence of this flame. I am writing this when we still have a few days to the conference. But I am sure of its success. Its success will not be in the number of people attending it, or in the gloss at the venue, or in the digital footprint the conference will leave behind. Its success will be in the thousands of little flames the conference will help ignite in minds of technical communicators. Not just in India. Across the globe.

Why am I so confident about this? What makes me make such big statements? Am I a guru of some sort? Surely not. The answer to this question takes us back to our eternal existential crisis. What makes us human? I think a part of the answer is our creative capacity, as Ayn Rand suggests. Creativity means catharsis, catharsis means pain. Creativity is not born from freedom. It emanates from limitations, from chaos, from struggle. And then it brings solutions, it brings new beginnings.

I am sure Guts & Glory is a new beginning. Udaan is another. Nibu and Anindita have materialised a dream beyond my imagination. I won't thank them. I won't thank other volunteers such as Sheece, Rajib, Mak, Vinish, Paresh. The list is endless. If I thank them, it will separate me from them. We were one. We are one. All we wanted to do was give our best to the community, for the community has given us its best. पूर्णात् पूर्णमुदच्यते | From completeness arises completeness.

ॐ पूर्णमदः पूर्णमिदम् पूर्णात् पूर्णमुदच्यते |
पूर्णस्य पूर्णमादाय पूर्णमेवावशिष्यते ||
ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ||
That is complete. This is (also) complete.
From (one) completeness arises (the other) completeness. If (this) completeness were to be taken away from (that) completeness, what remains is still complete.
- Shukla Yajurved